In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.
Ephesians 4: 1-4 (MSG)
Earlier this week we were talking with some fourteen year olds. One boy asked: “do you ever have disagreements?”
Our immediate “yes” was followed by another question: “what do you disagree about most?”
Between us this was a toss-up between disagreements about how to bring up our children and the tensions associated with our differences as people.
I like to plan (including detail) …my husband likes to see the big picture and be more spontaneous.
I like to be at the station three hours early …he likes to cut it fine.
I need space …my husband likes to be with people (a lot!)
Over the course of our thirty years of marriage we have come to accept one another’s differences and be kind towards one another, most of the time anyway! Our differences still cause tension and arguments, especially when we are tired and/or stressed. The good thing is that we have learned to ‘mend the fences’ quickly by saying sorry and forgiving one another. The words we say mend the relationship ‘outwardly’. For me it takes prayer asking for God’s help to mend things inwardly …my attitude as well as to restore love, affection and unity.
This week talk about what causes you to have disagreements and pray about mending the fences.
Prayer (as a couple)
Dear Father God, thank you that you understand our disagreements, big and small. Please help us to be quick at mending fences and restoring the relationship, outwardly and inwardly. Help us to admit fault and say sorry quickly, forgiving one another in the power of the Holy Spirit. And please help restore love, affection and unity so that we can have a marriage that glorifies you. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Prayer (for others)
Dear Father God, we pray for… and …. We ask that you would help them handle their disagreements in a healthy, godly way to mend fences and restore their marriage. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
“It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.” Lewis B. Smedes